St. Ann's Warehouse Presents KATE TEMPEST, Now thru 1/19
St. Ann's Warehouse will present the American Premiere of Kate Tempest's Brand New Ancients, which garnered considerable critical acclaim and the prestigious Herald Angel Award at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Tempest is also the first winner under 40 of the TEd Hughes Poetry Award. Brand New Ancients, which will run from today, January 10 - 19, continues the St Ann's Warehouse tradition of introducing American audiences to exceptional theater artists and companies from across the pond, including Kneehigh, Enda Walsh, Stephen Hoggett, John Tiffany, and Daniel Kitson, who first recommended Tempest to St. Ann's Artistic Director, Susan Feldman. A co-production with Battersea Arts Centre on Tour, Brand New Ancients will run for eight performances at St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO (29 Jay Street, Brooklyn).
Performances will take place today, January 10-11, 15-18 at 8pm; and January 12 at 5pm and January 19 at 7pm. Tickets start at $20 and are available today to St. Ann's Warehouse Members. The general public can purchase tickets beginning Thursday, November 21 online at www.stannswarehouse.org; by phone at 718.254.8779 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-7pm) or866.811.4111 (Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm; Sat and Sun, 10am-6pm); and in person at the St. Ann's Warehouse Box Office at 29 Jay Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn (Tue-Sat, 1pm-7pm).
Self-described as "a wayward youth living in squats, hanging around on picket lines, rapping at riot cops and on the night bus home" to South-East London, Kate Tempest celebrates the divine in ordinary people and everyday life. They are the "Brand New Ancients" she intones in her story of two families, subtly intermingled through generations, in language, music and song. Being brave, she challenges us to be brave; Brand New Ancients is a call to arms for a modern day hero, and the gods are closer than we think.
Kate Tempest's unique performance style blurs the lines between poetry, theater and live music, using hip-hop-infused rhythms and rhymes to weave an epic performance poem in a soulful style all her own. In Brand New Ancients, a live quartet-Raven Bush on violin, Natasha Zielazinski on cello, Jo Gibson on tuba and Kwake Bass on percussion and electronics-accompanies her to an emotive soundtrack by Nell Catchpole to underscore the victories and defeats of her everyday heroes. Jerusalem director Ian Rickson provided directorial support.
Reviewing Brand New Ancients at the Traverse Theatre during this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Scotsman called it "a torrent of poetry so brilliant that the words often seem to glow and smoke with intensity, as the narrative unfolds, the detail grows richer, and the backbeat of thought and reflection takes on new shapes and forms, reflected in the superb accompanying music." The Guardian has said of the performance, "Suddenly it feels as if we are not in a theatre but a church... gathered around a hearth, hearing the age-old stories that help us make sense of our lives. We're given the sense that what we are watching is something sacred."
The Huffington Post has said, "Seeing Kate live for the first time is unforgettable. [Her performance] was blistering, breathtaking...By the end [the audience]... were either stunned into silence or adding to the roar of applause. It is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating, inspiring pieces of theatre you'll see this year."
Brand New Ancients comes to St. Ann's Warehouse amidst a tour of London's most prestigious venues including The Royal Court Theatre, the Young Vic, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, the Lyric Hammersmith and others.
Brand New Ancients is a Kate Tempest and Battersea Arts Centre co-production, co-commissioned by the Albany and supported by the British Council.
About Kate Tempest